Life of Brian screening in church a huge success

Members of Leigh Film get ready for the screening with Fr Kevin Crinks and his dog Brian

Members of Leigh Film get ready for the screening with Fr Kevin Crinks and his dog Brian

It was a case of “blessed are the cheesemakers” after the screening of a controversial comedy in a parish church proved a massive success.

Around 130 people packed into Leigh Parish Church for the showing of Monty Python’s cult classic The Life of Brian, organised by Leigh Film Society.

The audience enjoying the film

The audience enjoying the film

The historic place of worship rang with gales of laughter at the hilarious story of the man born in the stable next door who is mistaken for the Messiah.

Some fans even went to the lengths of wearing costumes from the film and donning the fake beards on sale in a tribute to the film’s famous stoning scene.

Despite the film stirring up a whirlwind of controversy on its release the screening on Friday night was a more relaxed affair, with the only dissenting note provided by a mock-protest courtesy of parish church vicar Fr Kevin Crinks and a fellow member of his religious order, who stood outside beforehand in their Franciscan habits with slogans from sitcom Father Ted.

Leigh Film Society chair Paul Costello said: “It was a successful event where people attending got into the fun side of the film. Many ladies came wearing fun beards, really getting into the spirit of an immersive cinema event.

Many ladies came wearing fun beards, really getting into the spirit of an immersive cinema event

Paul Costello

“We plan many more screenings where we hope the community will get behind putting Leigh on the map for film.”

Fr Crinks said he was delighted to be told on the night that the film provided more than just laughs for some of those watching.

He said: “It is very important that people had fun and enjoyed themselves but on the way out a number of people also said it was the perfect time to have the film and it had made them think. That was part of the idea of screening it.

“The intention was not to do something outrageous or headline-grabbing, though because of its history the film grabs headlines anyway.

“It was a really good thing it made people stop and think and they were entertained as well. It was lovely to see people come in and go out smiling.

“An event like this also attracts people who wouldn’t normally come through the door and they see that behind the perceptions we in the church laugh, cry and do the stuff everybody else does.”